December 18th, 2017

Bargain Finder 117: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Krieger — OverStock Barrels, 15% Off, with Quick Delivery

MOlle tactical stocking christmas Xmas

Smart shooters know that Krieger makes some of the best barrels in the world. For example, nearly half of the shooters at the recent World Benchrest Championship shot Kriegers. But to get a prized Krieger barrel, you normally have to pay full price, and sometimes wait many weeks. Not now — Krieger is running an end-of-year overstock inventory sale. Dozens of premium single-point, cut-rifled barrels are now on sale for 15%. Choose from a wide range of Calibers and Contours: .204, .224, 6mm, 6.5mm, .270, 7mm, .308, .338 — even the big magnums: .375, .416, .458 and .50 Caliber. CLICK HERE to see all 15% Off Krieger barrels.

Purchase info: All year-end, closeout-priced barrels require full payment at time of order (restocking fee for cancelled or returned barrels). Some barrels must be recontoured prior to sale. Call (262) 628-8558 for more information on a particular barrel. Barrels not requiring recontouring or other services should ship within two (2) weeks.

2. Amazon — FosPower 10200 mAh Waterproof Charger, $26.99

FosPower USB Battery pack waterproof shockproof LED

When you’re at the range or on a hunt, it’s smart to have a USB-output battery pack for smart phone, target-cam monitor, even a LabRadar. There are many battery packs available, but most are fairly fragile, with exposed ports. This “ruggedized” FosPower 10200 mAh charger is different. It is waterproof, dust-proof, and shock-proof. (IP67 certified: dust and water resistance for up to 3ft/1m for 30 minutes under water.) It can handle all that a PRS competitor or hunter can dish out. It even has a handy LED light. Right now it’s priced at $26.99 with FREE Shipping (on orders over $25.00).

3. Amazon — Weaver T-Series Classic 36x40mm Scope, $419.32

Weaver Classic T-Series 36x40mm scope

Benchrest Matches have been won (and many records set) with 36X Weaver T-Series optics. Our friend Boyd Allen observed “You can pay three or four times as much for a scope but not necessarily be more competitive — a 36X front objective Weaver is enough to win with…” The Classic T-Series Weaver has proven to be one of the most reliable high-magnification scopes ever made. The “old-fashioned” adjustable objective works well and the Weaver Micro-Trac turret system delivers precise and repeatable elevation and windage control. You can also save money on rings since the main tube is 1″ diameter. The Weaver T-36 with 1/8 MOA clicks and Fine Cross-hair reticle costs $419.32 at Amazon.com with free Prime Shipping. NOTE: If you don’t see that price, try our multi-vendor Product LINK for the best current deal. Other Classic T-Series 36X scopes with Target Dot Reticle or silver finish cost about $475.00.

4. Grafs.com — Caldwell Rock Front Rest, $119.99

Graf's Grafs.com Caldwell Rock Benchrest BR front rest iron with bag

The Caldwell Rock BR Front Rest is sturdy and stable. It ships with two front bags, a wide tri-lobe plus a conventional bag (shown above). The latter works quite well for rifles with narrow forearms — such as hunting rigs or ARs. This is a good option for a young shooter or someone getting started on a tight budget. We’ve used this rest on a varmint hunt and it worked well. Use the Mariner wheel for gross elevation changes and “fine tune” elevation by squeezing your rear sand bag. This same rest costs $139.61 at Amazon. Save $20.00 by purchasing through Grafs which also offers a single, flat $7.95 handling fee per order — no extra shipping charge. Purchase multiple items from Grafs.com and pay just one $7.95 fee.

5. Brownells — Breech Lock Reloading Kit $99.99 with Code M3P

Lee Challenger Brownells Reloading Kit

Here’s a great holiday gift for a friend or family member getting started in hand-loading. The Lee Breech Lock Challenger Reloading Kit includes Press (with quick change die system), Powder Measure, Scale, Priming Tool, Shell Holders, Reloading Tray, and Chamfer Tool. And you get all this for just $99.99 with discount code! Brownells’ current discounted Sale Price is $109.99, but you get $10.00 off with CODE M3P. That lowers your net cost to $99.99. Get the entire kit for under one hundred bucks. That’s a steal — this same kit sells for around $125.00 on Amazon.

6. RCBS — Buy Green Get Green Rebate Program

RCBS Buy Green Rebate Program Sale Discount Deal

Act quickly — RCBS’s best rebate program of 2017 runs out at 11:59 pm on December 31st. The Holiday 2017 Buy Green Get Green promo is simple — buy ANY RCBS product over $49.99 and you qualify. There’s no restricted list of “qualifying” products. The more you spend, the more you get back — up to $175.00 total. If you are considering purchasing a single-stage press, electronic powder dispenser, progressive press, or a full reloading kit, save big with this promotion. It is good for purchases made through the end of the year, December 31, 2017. Download REBATE Form HERE.

7. Amazon — Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge, $39.99

Lyman Trigger Pull gauge electronic Walmart Amazon

If you are serious about your precision firearms, you need one of these. We use the Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge to test the triggers on all our match and varmint rifles. The unit is precise and repeatable. Once you try one of these you won’t want to go back to crude spring trigger gauges. Amazon.com offers this unit for $39.99 with free shipping (third party sale).

8. CDNN — 51-Piece Driver Set (Flat, Phillips, Hex, Torx) — $9.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Outers Screwdriver 51-piece set torx phillips allen driver

This Outers-brand, 51-piece set contains all the drivers you could ever need: Flat-head, Phillips, Hex (Allen), and Torx. Priced under ten bucks, this driver set offers great value for the money. Even if you already own high-quality Allen and Torx wrenches, you can buy this as a spare set for your gun room. And this also makes a great holiday “stocking stuffer” for gun guys. These drivers work great for installing scope rings or bases, or everyday use around the home.

• Molded Driver with Magnetic Tip
• 15 Flat Head Bits
• 10 Hex Bits (inch)
• 9 Hex Bits (metric)
• 4 Phillips Bits
• 9 Torx Bits
• 2 Extra Long Phillips Bits
• 1 Hex to Square Adapter

9. Harbor Freight — Welding Cart (for Rifle Hauling) $55.99

Check out the Harbor Freight Welding Cart, item #65939. This cart is ON SALE right now for just $55.99. With a few bungee cords (and some creativity), the cart can be adapted for hauling your guns gear. It’s easy to add plastic side-panels on the bottom unit, and fit a barrel-holding system on the cross-tube. Overall size is 29-1/2″ L x 20″ W x 49″ H, and width between side rails is 18″. The wheels (with tires) are 20 3/4″ in diameter for smooth rolling. Consider that, if you made your own cart from scratch you could easily pay $30.00 or more just for the large-diameter wheels and axle. NOTE: This cart has air-filled tires. Be sure to inflate before you go to the Range!

10. Amazon — Tactical Stockings for Christmas

MOlle tactical stocking christmas Xmas

Don’t have a stocking to hold your small gift items? Well we’ve got you covered — check out these cool, heavy-duty stockings. These Garud Tactical Stockings come in four colors: Camo, OD Green, Black, and Khaki. They all feature 4 MOLLE attachments, rugged carry handle, hanging hook, swivel carabiners, outside draw pocket, and even Velcro USA Flag Patch. Get all this for the low price of $11.99 (black) or $14.49 (other colors). These stockings are sure to bring smiles to your tacticool family members and friends. Spend over $25.00 and these ship for free on Amazon.

Credit EdLongrange for Krieger Year-End Overstock Sale tip.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Tactical No Comments »
December 16th, 2017

Tech Tip: Don’t Store Brass and Ammo Near Ammonia Solvents

Ammonia Solvent Brass Cracking MTM

Chances are that many of you have packed away your ammo and shooting supplies for the winter. Maybe you put your brass in a storage bin that might also contain solvents, old rags, or used bore swabs. Well, if you use any ammonia-based solvents, we suggest you separate the brass and ammo and keep it away from potential ammonia vapors. This is because long-term exposure to ammonia fumes can cause cracks to form in your brass. This can lead to case ruptures and possible injury.

This case-cracking phenomenon has been called Season Cracking, a form of stress-corrosion cracking of brass cartridge cases. Season cracking is characterized by deep brittle cracks which penetrate into affected components. If the cracks reach a critical size, the component can suddenly fracture, sometimes with disastrous results. If the concentration of ammonia is very high, then corrosion is much more severe, and damage over all exposed surfaces occurs. The brass cracking is caused by a reaction between ammonia and copper that forms the cuprammonium ion, Cu(NH3)4, a chemical complex which is water-soluble. The problem of cracking can also occur in copper and copper alloys such as bronze.

Season Cracking was originally observed by the British forces in India a century ago. During the monsoon season, military activity was reduced, and ammunition was stored in stables until the dry weather returned. Many brass cartridges were subsequently found to be cracked, especially where the case was crimped to the bullet. In 1921, in the Journal of the Institute of Metals, the phenomenon was explained by Moor, Beckinsale, and Mallinson. Apparently ammonia from horse urine, combined with the residual stress in the cold-drawn metal of the cartridges, was responsible for the cracking.

Ammonia Solvent Brass Cracking MTM
Don’t store ammunition (or brass) for long periods in a box or container holding ammoniated solvents:

The Australia Department of Defense (AUSDOD) has also explored the problem of brass cracking caused, at least in part, by exposure to ammonia. A study was done to see whether the amount of cracking (from ammonia exposure) varied according to the duration and temperature of the annealing process used on the brass. CLICK HERE to read AUSDOD Research Report.

Story idea from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
December 13th, 2017

Blue Lapua Brass Boxes Do Double-Duty As Ammo Carriers

Lapua brass Ammo box

Since 2010, Lapua has shipped its quality cartridge brass in sturdy blue plastic boxes. Here’s a handy tip for you — don’t toss the plastic boxes when you load up your brass! These are double-duty containers. If you’re not familiar with “Blue Box” Lapua brass, you may not realize that the boxes are designed to serve as 50-round carriers for your loaded ammo and fired cases. (Yes we know some folks who’ve been tossing out their blue boxes without knowing how the boxes work as caddies.)

Snapped in place under the box lid is a rectangular plastic grid that fits in the bottom of the box. Pop the grid loose and slide it into the box with the smooth side facing up. Side supports molded into the lower section hold the grid in place.

Lapua brass Ammo box

Voilà, instant Ammo Box! Each grid contains holes for fifty (50) loaded rounds or empty cases. The convertible plastic container/ammo box is a great idea that Lapua executed very nicely. Now you have even more motivation to purchase your cartridge brass from Lapua.

USER TIPS: When transporting ammo you may want to put some foam over the loaded rounds. That will protect the bullet tips. Also, with shorter cartridges, this will help keep your loaded ammo and fired cases from moving around. You can also tape the FREE Redding Ammo Box Labels on the underside of the lids to list your load information.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
December 12th, 2017

Four Great Firearms Animations

Firearms 3D Animation Gun Videos Schematic

1. How an AR-15 Works

Ever wondered how the parts inside an AR-15 work together? Just exactly how does the reciprocating bolt carrier feed rounds from the magazine? How do the elements in the trigger group work and reset after each shot? How does the gas system bleed gas from the barrel and operate the bolt carrier? These and other questions are answered in this eye-opening video from 45Snipers. Using “cutaway” 3D computer animation, this 5-minute video shows all features of an AR15 inside and out. This fascinating firearms animation allows the viewer to look inside the upper and lower receivers, into the bolt carrier, chamber, barrel, and magazine. There’s a second AR-15 Video that shows all the internal and external parts of the AR-15 Rifle. CLICK HERE for AR Parts Animation.

2. How an AK-47 Works — With Parts Assembly

This animation shows how the AK-47 (officially Avtomat Kalasnikova model 1947) rifle functions. This very realistic video shows the component parts of the AK47 coming together. They you can see how the fire control system works to ignite the primer, sending the bullet down the barrel. Next you see how the gas piston pushes the bolt carrier rearward to chamber a new 7.62x39mm cartridge.

Tech Note: This high-quality 3D animation was created by Matt Rittman using Cinema 4D and After Effects software. Corona renderer was used in order to create realistic materials and reflections. Credit Forum member Captain Dave F. for finding this video.

3. How a Pistol Cartridge Fires

This cool 3D video from German ammo-maker GECO (part of the Swiss RUAG group of companies) unveils the inside of a pistol cartridge, showing jacket, lead core, case, powder and primer. Uusing advanced CGI rendering, the video shows an X-ray view of ammo being loaded in a handgun, feeding from a magazine. Then it really gets interesting. At 1:32 – 1:50 you’ll see the firing pin strike the primer cup, the primer’s hot jet streaming through the flash-hole, and the powder igniting. Finally you can see the bullet as it moves down the barrel and spins its way to a target. If you’ve ever wondered what happens inside a cartridge when you pull the trigger, this video shows all.

For Best Viewing, Click Gear Symbol and Select HD Playback Mode

4. How a Rifle Cartridge Fires

This CGI video shows what happens inside a rifle chamber and barrel when a cartridge fires. The 3D computer animation reveals every stage in the process of a rifle round being fired. X-Ray-style animation illustrates the primer igniting, the propellant burning, and the bullet moving through the barrel. The video then shows how the bullet spins as it flies along its trajectory. Finally, this animation shows the bullet impacting ballistic gelatin. Watch the bullet mushroom and deform as it creates a “wound channel” in the gelatin.

3D animation bullet ammunition in rifle

Watch Video – Cartridge Ignition Sequence Starts at 1:45 Time-Mark

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing No Comments »
December 11th, 2017

Bargain Finder 116: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

NOTE About Price Changes — We put up great deals when we find them. But prices change, so be “on your toes”. Example: Last week, on Monday morning, we featured Steiner AZ830 binoculars priced at just $116.00. This week, the very same Steiner binocs now cost $274.68! The price has more than doubled! Lesson here? If you see something at a great price, don’t hesitate.

1. Cabelas — 500 Rounds Winchester .22LR Ammo $31.99

Cabela's cabeleas.com winchester ammo .22 LR rimfire ammunition sale

Here’s an ammo bargain that also makes a great Christmas gift. Who wouldn’t like a nice, wooden crate of rimfire ammo under the Christmas tree? Cabela’s is offering this Winchester 500-round Ammo Special for just $31.99. That’s just 6.4 cents per round. The Limited Edition wooden crate is filled with Winchester Super-X Hi-Vel .22 LR ammo, loaded with 36gr copper-plated HP bullets. This ammo is rated at 1,280 fps velocity, making it good for small varmints as well as plinking. This would make a great end-of-year gift for a 4H Club Team, or Boy Scouts youth shooting program. And, to make the deal even better, you can get FREE Shipping with Cabela’s Code “7HOLIDAY” (no minimum).

2. Powder Valley — 12 Days of Christmas Promotion

Powder Valley 12 Days of Christmas Facebook giveaway sale

Are you feelin’ lucky? Well here’s your chance to win. Over the next twelve days (through December 22, 2016), Powder Valley Inc. is giving away thousands of dollars worth of products from big name suppliers. This is top-of-the-line stuff, with products from Accurate, Alliant, Berry’s, Hodgdon, Hornady, Nosler, Ramshot, Shooters’ World, Sierra Bullets, Speer, and Zero Bullets. Each day there will be a new set of prizes. The prizes for Monday December 11th are Hornady Ammunition and a Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Kit with Reloading Press (MSRP $339.00). CLICK HERE for Contest.

UPDATE: The Prizes for December 12th are Accurate Reloading Powders.

It’s easy to be entered to win one of the Daily Giveaway prize packages. Simply visit Powder Valley’s Facebook Page, and make a comment on the featured Daily Giveaway Post. You don’t have to fill out any forms, but you must have a Facebook account so you can comment. Each day the folks at Powder Valley will select winners from among the visitors who commented. NOTE: You can enter multiple times by commenting on multiple days, but sorry, if you win, you are no longer eligible.

3. GunPrime — 6.5 Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle, $998.00.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor PRS production class

Ruger Precision Rifle, 6.5 Creedmoor, $998.00 complete — what’s not to like? If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, here’s the best deal we’ve found in recent months. Right now Gunprime.com is offering this poular tactical rig for under $1000.00, in the high-demand 6.5 Creedmoor chambering. Heck of a bargain boys — you can pay $1300 or more elsewhere for the same rifle. This is a good choice for the PRS production class, or you can take in to another level of preformance with a Pre-Fit 26″ cut-rifled barrel from Krieger. This is the lastest RPR Gen 2 version with the upgraded handguards. Scope and rings NOT included in price.

4. MidwayUSA — Edgewood Rear Bag Clearance — Save $60 to $99

Edgewood Rear Bag Sale discount clearance midwayusa

It’s common knowledge that Edgewood makes some of the very best rear sandbags you can buy, withe top quality AND workmanship. It is very rare to see these ultra-premium bags discounted. It is even more remarkable to see them at fire-sale prices — 31% to 48% Off at MidwayUSA. Quantities are very limited so, these will probably sell out within a few hours of being listed in our Deals of the Week. With some models, only one example is available at this price. Don’t hesitate if you need a bag — but first be sure to Check the Spacing Between the Ears to ensure it fits your rifle stock. This dimension varies from bag to bag. For each listed bag, click the “Specification” tab to get the ear spacing width, which varies from 0.375″ to 0.750″.

5. Creedmoor Sports — Holiday Sale, Many Items 15-20% Off

Creedmoor Sports Holiday Sale

Creedmoor Sports is running a big Holiday Promotion. Many popular items, including gun cases, slings, coats, optics and more, have significant markdowns. CLICK HERE to see all Holiday Sale items. Sling shooters — if you are looking for a shooting coat, sling, or glove — there are some great deals to be had during this holiday sale.

6. Brownells — Buy Revolver Get $100 Gift Card + $50 S&W Rebate

Brownells Smith Wesson Revolver Performance Center Gift Card Coupon Rebate $50 $100

This is the best promo we’ve ever seen for premium Smith & Wesson revolvers — America’s favorite wheelguns. You get a double bonus when you purchase one of the eligible S&W revolvers. First you get a $100 Brownells Gift Card. In addition, Smith & Wesson will send you a $50 rebate in the form of a prepaid Visa Card. That’s $150.00 in value. Plus you can use coupon “MDK” for 10% off + free shipping on orders over $200. This promo applies to over 50 different S&W revolvers, not just the ones in the graphic. SEE ALL Revolvers HERE.

Brownells Smith Wesson Revolver Performance Center Gift Card Coupon Rebate $50 $100

This Editor owns a number of Smith & Wesson revolvers. They are all extremely accurate and a pleasure to shoot. I have bought and sold Glocks, HKs, Springfields, and Rugers. But I can never seem to part with any of my Performance Center S&W wheelguns — the accuracy and build quality is just too satisfying. If you don’t own a Performance Center S&W yet, here is your chance.

7. Plano 52″ Double Rifle Case with Wheels, $112.74

Plano double scoped rifle case with wheels

This Plano Double Scoped Rifle Case is an Amazon Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is under $115.00, while the equivalent SKB is around $240.00, so you can buy two Planos for the price of one SKB. The 51.5″ interior will fit most scoped competition rifles up to about 29″ barrels (measure your own rifle to make sure). If you separate the barreled action from the stock you can transport even ultra-long ELR rifles. The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move through airports and parking lots. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money (plus there’s Free Shipping for Amazon Prime members).

Exterior Dimensions: 54.625″ x 15.5″ x 6″
Interior Dimensions: 51.5″ x 12.63″ x 5.25″
Pluckable Interior Dimensions: 46″ x 10″
Features: Wheels, Secure Draw-Down Latches, O-Ring Seal, Pressure Relief Valve, Customizable Foam

8. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs, $31.98

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Muffs hearing protection Howard Leight earmuffs sale bargain

NOTE: These were a deal last week at $34.99, and now they’re even cheaper. Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs, even if you prefer shooting with earplugs and/or standard muffs. Electronic muffs are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $31.98, with free Prime Shipping. This is good deal — these NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category.

9. MidwayUSA — Packable Shooting Mat, $19.99

MidwayUSA roll packable shooting mat light weight mat

Here’s a heck of a deal on a good light-weight shooting mat. MidwayUSA has slashed the price on its Packable Shooting Mat. Available in Coyote Tan or Olive Drab, this 67″ Long x 31″ Wide padded mat is now just $19.99. This Packable Mat has some nice features, such as 12″ front flap, elbow pads, 0.15″ thick padding, and six staking grommets. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to a 9″ x 4.5″ package, secured with a heavy strap. If you need a low-cost, basic shooting mat, check out this deal. Weighing just 1.5 pounds, this a good, light-weight mat to keep in a vehicle or to use on a “walk-around” varminting hunt.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
December 11th, 2017

Pierce Develops New 10X Action for Big Magnum Cartridges

Pierce Engineering 10X Magnum Action

Pierce Engineering Ltd. recently revealed a new prototype action, a jumbo-sized receiver big enough to handle the CheyTacs and other very large magnums. This is good news for K02M and Extreme Long Range (ELR) Competitors, who favor mega-magnum cartridges pushing .375-caliber and larger bullets.

John Pierce says: “It’s been a long time coming, from design to prototype to testing. The Big 10 X is ready. This first test was in .300 Norma…next will be in .375 CheyTac.” Shown is a single-shot receiver. John adds that the “First repeater version should be completed next week. [This is a] dream come true.” This is one beefy action. Sources at Pierce say production versions should weigh roughly 3.75 pounds.

Pierce Engineering 10X Magnum Action

Sorry, we don’t have price or availability yet for the new 10X action. This new 10X receiver isn’t in full production yet. But we expect examples should be available by mid-year 2018. For more information, visit PierceEngineeringltd.com or call (517) 321-5051.

Pierce Engineering 10X Magnum Action

Based in Lansing, Michigan, Pierce Engineering produces a full line of custom rifle actions, including competition actions, tube gun actions, hunting actions, and even ultra-light titanium actions. In addition, Pierce Engineering produces precision accessories, including rails, rings, floor plates, and replacement firing pin assemblies for Rem 700 actions.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 4 Comments »
December 11th, 2017

.45 ACP Quick Guide — Reloading and 1911 Field Stripping

Do you shoot a .45 ACP? We love this short, fat cartridge because it is inherently accurate, it makes big, easy-to-see holes in paper, and because it it works so well in the classic 1911 series of pistols. It is hard to beat a good, tuned model 1911 when it comes to trigger pull/reset and natural pointing ability.

Once you get the hang of it, 1911-type pistols are also easy to field strip for cleaning. Here is a video showing how to disassemble and reassemble your model 1911:

Model 1911 Field Stripping and Reassembly

.45 ACP Ammunition Loading Guide

If you “roll your own” .45 ACP cartridges, there are many good powder choices. Our favorites are Vihtavuori N320, AA No. 5, and Hodgdon TiteGroup, but there are many other good choices. You’ll find these three recommended powders (plus seven others) in this .45 ACP Reloading Guide from Nosler:

Nosler .45 ACP 45 reloading guide 185 grain bullet

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Reloading 1 Comment »
December 5th, 2017

Ballistics Linguistics: Bullet “Caliber of Ogive” Defined

Sierra Caliber of Ogive Bullet Sierra BC geometry

This article, which originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog, provides a new terminology that helps describe the geometry of bullets. Once you understand the meaning of “Caliber(s) of Ogive”, you can quickly evaluate potential bullet performance by comparing listed Caliber of Ogive numeric values.

by Mark Walker, Sierra Bullets New Product Development Manager
During one of our recent product releases, we listed the “caliber of ogive” of the bullet in the product description. While some understood what that number meant, it appears that some are not aware of what the number is and why it is important. In a nutshell, the “caliber of ogive” number will tell you how sleek the front end of the bullet is. The higher the number is, the sleeker the bullet. It also makes it easy to compare the ogives of different caliber bullets. If you want to know if a certain .308 caliber bullet is sleeker than a 7mm bullet, simply compare their “caliber of ogive” numbers.

So exactly how do you figure “caliber of ogive”? If you look at the drawing of the .30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275 (at top), you will see that the actual radius of the ogive is 2.240. If you take that 2.240 ogive radius and divide by the diameter (or caliber) of the bullet you would get 7.27 “calibers of ogive” (2.240 ÷ .308 = 7.27). (See top photo).

In a nutshell, the “caliber of ogive” number will tell you how sleek the front end of the bullet is. The higher the number is, the sleeker the bullet.

Next let’s look at the print (below) of our 6.5mm 142gr HPBT #1742 bullet for comparison. The actual radius of the ogive is 2.756. Like with the .30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275, if you divide 2.756 by the diameter (or caliber) of the bullet you get 10.44 “calibers of ogive”.

Sierra Caliber of Ogive Bullet Sierra BC geometry

As most people know, it has been determined through testing that the 6.5mm 142gr HPBT #1742 has a significantly higher ballistic coefficient than the .30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275. However by simply comparing the “caliber of ogive” number of each bullet you can easily see that the 6.5mm 142 gr HPBT #1742 is significantly sleeker than the .30 caliber 175 gr HPBT bullet #2275 even without firing a shot.

Some people would say why not just compare the actual ogive radius dimensions instead of using the “caliber of ogive” figure. If we were comparing only bullets of the exact same diameter, then that would be a reasonable thought process. However, that idea falls apart when you start trying to compare the ogives of bullets of different diameters. As you can see with the two bullets presented above, if we compare the actual ogive radius dimensions of both bullets the difference is not much at all.

However, once again, testing has shown that the 6.5mm 142 gr HPBT #1742 has a significantly higher BC. The only way that this significant increase shows up, other than when we fire the bullets in testing, is by comparing the “caliber of ogive” measurement from both bullets.

Hopefully this will help explain what we mean when we talk about “caliber of ogive” and why it’s a handy number to use when comparing bullets. This information will help you to make an informed decision the next time you are in the market to buy bullets.

Sierra Bullets Caliber of Ogive Bullet BC SMK

Story tip from Grant Ubl. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 5 Comments »
December 4th, 2017

Bargain Finder 115: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Brownells — Breech Lock Reloading Kit $99.99 with Code M3P

Lee Challenger Brownells Reloading Kit

Here’s a great holiday gift for a friend or family member getting started in hand-loading. The Lee Breech Lock Challenger Reloading Kit includes Press (with quick change die system), Powder Measure, Scale, Priming Tool, Shell Holders, Reloading Tray, and Chamfer Tool. And you get all this for just $99.99 with discount code! Brownells’ current discounted Sale Price is $109.99, but you get $10.00 off with CODE M3P. That lowers your net cost to $99.99. Get the entire kit for under one hundred bucks. That’s a steal — this same kit sells for around $125.00 on Amazon.

2. PMA Tool — 10% Off Orders Plus Free Shipping

PMA Tool Micro Die Harrell's Reloading Tools 10% off free shipping

PMA Tool carries some of the very best products for precision reloaders. PMA offers Micro-Die Adjusters, superb case trimming tools, cleaning gear, as well as great products from Kelbly’s, Harrell’s Precision, and Lenzi. Right now you can save on a vast array of products PMA sells. The folks at PMA report: “The Christmas and New Year Holidays are here. Every once in a while it’s nice to give yourself a little something special. As a special thank you to you, our favorite customers, we are offering 10% off your entire order during the Holiday Season. Simply use the code YFVVB46UEWU upon checkout at pmatool.com to receive your 10% discount. We at PMA Tool are also offering FREE SHIPPING within the USA through the end of 2017.” Editor’s Note: PMA Tool carries many great products. If you are a serious benchrest or F-Class shooter, you should look carefully at PMA’s full product line. The Lenzi bags are superb for example, and PMA’s unique action cleaning tool is a perfect “stocking stuffer”.

3. CDNN Sports — Winchester XPR Rifle $279.99 after $100 Rebate

Winchester XPR Hunting Rifle Vias Camo CDNN Cabelas Rebate

Looking for a good hunting rifle at a great price? Check out this promotion for the Winchester XPR. This is a fine-handling rig with a smooth bolt and many chambering options. Right now at CDNN Sports the basic gray-stocked Winchester XPR is on sale for $379.99. But here’s the kicker, Winchester is offering a $100.00 Mail-In Rebate. That drops your net cost to just $279.99. That’s an insanely good deal. You can also get the XPR in Vias Camo for $299.99 after rebate. Get Rebate Form HERE.

4. Browning — Big Rebates on Rifles, Shotguns, and Pistols

Browning shotgun Christmas December Buckmark $100 Rebate

Browning is running a big promotion this month, with significant rebates on many popular Browning firearms. Save $100 on over/under and auto-loading shotguns, save $75 on Pump Shotguns, Centerfire Rifles, Rimfire Rifles and Rimfire Pistols. You can also save $50 on centerfire pistols. If you’ve been eyeing a Browning Buckmark .22LR Pistol, now is a great time. CLICK HERE for rebate details.

Browning shotgun Christmas December Buckmark $100 Rebate

5. Amazon — Steiner AZ830, 8×30 Binoculars, under $135

Steiner Military Marine 8x30 8x20mm AZ830 discount binoculars

Need a good set of rugged, affordable binoculars for hunting or varmint work? Then check out the Steiner AZ830 at $131.21. These are essentially identical to the respected Steiner 8×30 Military Marine binoculars which sell for around $230.00. The only differences are the color and the packaging. The AZ830s are a black “house brand” created for Amazon by Steiner. Other than the color (black vs. OD Green) everything is the same. Same bright glass, same auto focus system, some tough rubber armor, same rock solid Steiner Heritage Warranty. With these Steiner binoculars, once you adjust the eyepieces, everything from 20 yards to infinity is in focus. We highly recommend these AZ830 binoculars — the quick-focus system works really well in the field.

Specifications: 8X magnification, 30mm objective lenses, 20mm eye relief, 18 oz. weight, 6.8×2.4×4.6 inches. Auto-focusing design has sharp focus from 20 yards to infinity.

UPDATE: Sorry guys… Amazon’s price on the AZ830 has bounced between $116 and $136 in the last 48 hours. We really can’t keep up on the hourly price shifts. You can use CamelCamelCamel.com to track AZ830 price shifts in the days ahead.

6. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs, $34.99

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Muffs hearing protection Howard Leight earmuffs sale bargain

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs, even if you prefer shooting with earplugs and/or standard muffs. Electronic muffs are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $34.99, with free Prime Shipping. This is good deal — these NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category.

7. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $179.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $179.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $199.99.

8. MidwayUSA — 25% Off all 5.11 Gear and Apparel

MidwayUSA 5.11 gear clothing 25% Off sale

When you see the 5.11 logo, you may think “tactical trousers”. But 5.11 makes many other quality products including boots, backpacks, gun cases, range bags, camo gear, holsters, and even smartphone cases. Right now MidwayUSA has discounted its entire inventory of 5.11 products. You can save 25% on apparel, packs, gun cases and more.

9. MidwayUSA — Blaze Orange Hunting Vest, $5.00

MidwayUSA blaze orange hunting hunter vest pockets clearance sale

If you hunt, you need one of these. In fact, in some States, Hi-Viz orange gear is mandatory. Right now MidwayUSA is running a super clearance sale on the MidwayUSA Deluxe Blaze Orange Vest. You can now get this vest for just five bucks ($5.00). Available in L, XL, and XXL, this bright vest features two Cargo Pockets with snaps plus two Handwarmer Pockets. It is made with a quality YKK zipper and “Quiet Double Layer” fabric.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Tactical No Comments »
November 29th, 2017

Changing Primer Types Can Alter Load Velocities and Pressures

Primer Wolf CCI Federal Muzzle velocity FPS reloading

We are often asked “Can I get more velocity by switching primer types?” The answer is “maybe”. The important thing to know is that changing primer types can alter your load’s performance in many ways — velocity average, velocity variance (ES/SD), accuracy, and pressure. Because there are so many variables involved you can’t really predict whether one primer type is going to be better or worse than another. This will depend on your cartridge, your powder, your barrel, and even the mechanics of your firing pin system.

Interestingly, however, a shooter on another forum did a test with his .308 Win semi-auto. Using Hodgdon Varget powder and Sierra 155gr Palma MatchKing (item 2156) bullets, he found that Wolf Large Rifle primers gave slightly higher velocities than did CCI-BR2s. Interestingly, the amount of extra speed (provided by the Wolfs) increased as charge weight went up, though the middle value had the largest speed variance. The shooter observed: “The Wolf primers seemed to be obviously hotter and they had about the same or possibly better ES average.” See table:

Varget .308 load 45.5 grains 46.0 grains 46.5 grains
CCI BR2 Primers 2751 fps 2761 fps 2783 fps
Wolf LR Primers 2757 fps 2780 fps 2798 fps
Speed Delta 6 fps 19 fps 15 fps

You can’t extrapolate too much from the table above. This describes just one gun, one powder, and one bullet. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) as they say. However, this illustration does show that by substituting one component you may see significant changes. Provided it can be repeated in multiple chrono runs, an increase of 19 fps (with the 46.0 grain powder load) is meaningful. An extra 20 fps or so may yield a more optimal accuracy node or “sweet spot” that produces better groups. (Though faster is certainly NOT always better for accuracy — you have to test to find out.)

WARNING: When switching primers, you should exercise caution. More speed may be attractive, but you have to consider that the “speedier” primer choice may also produce more pressure. Therefore, you must carefully monitor pressure signs whenever changing ANY component in a load. Glen Zediker recommends decreasing your load ONE FULL GRAIN when changing to a different primer type, one that you haven’t used before.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 7 Comments »
November 27th, 2017

Get FREE Official AccurateShooter.com Precision Targets

FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target
Right-Click target image to download printable PDF.

We created the above target a decade ago. Since then it has been used by tens of thousands of shooters. It has proven very popular as a load development target, since all your load data fits neatly in the boxes under each target. In fact this target is being employed by both rifle-makers and barrel-makers (including Criterion) to test their products. The target was designed for aiming efficiency. The diamonds have 1/2″ sides and you can align your cross-hairs on the horizontal and vertical lines. It is a clean design that is easy to see even at 200 yards with a 20X scope. When we test, we usually crank in a little elevation, setting the point-of-impact higher, so that our shots fall in the gray circles. That way you leave the squares intact for precise aiming.

We also use these two targets for load development and precision practice. The circle dot target can also be used for informal rimfire competition at 50 yards.
Right-Click Each Target to Download Printable PDFs.

FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target


GET 50 More FREE Targets on AccurateShooter Target Page »

Printing Targets card stock heavy paper benchrestHow to Print Your Targets
Most of us have access to a printer at home or at work. That means you can print your own targets. You’ll find hundreds of free target designs online, including dozens of downloadable targets on our AccurateShooter.com Target Page. If you’re feeling creative, you can design your own target with a computer drawing program such as MS Paint.

Paper Stock Is Important
If you want your self-printed targets to show shots cleanly (and not rip when it gets windy), you should use quality paper stock. We recommend card stock — the kind of thick paper used for business cards. Card stock is available in both 65-lb and 110-lb weights in a variety of colors. We generally print black on white. But you might experiment with bright orange or yellow sheets. Forum Member ShootDots report: “They sell cardstock at Fed-Ex Kinko! I use either Orange or Yellow. That makes it easy to see the bullet holes clearly.” On some printers, with the heavier 110-lb card stock, you will need to have the paper exit through the rear for a straighter run.

Printing Targets card stock heavy paper benchrest

Here are some Target-Printing Tips from our Forum members:

“Staples sells a 67-lb heavy stock that I have settled on. I use the light grey or light blue, either of these are easy on the eyes on bright days. I have used the 110-lb card stock as well and it works fine. It’s just a little easier to print the lighter stuff.” (JBarnwell)

“Cardstock, as mentioned, works great for showing bullet holes as it doesn’t tear or rip like the thin, lightweight 20-lb paper. I’ve never had a problem with cardstock feeding in the printer, just don’t stick too many sheets in there. If I need three targets, I load only three card stock sheets”. (MEMilanuk)

“20-lb bond works pretty well for me if I use a spray adhesive and stick the entire back of the paper’s surface to the backer board.” (Lapua40X)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
November 27th, 2017

Bargain Finder 114: Deals of the Week — Cyber Monday Edition

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

IMPORTANT: This is a Special Edition for Cyber Monday, November 27, 2017. Most of the deals listed here will EXPIRE at 11:59 pm on 11/27/2017. To take advantage of Cyber Monday, you must ACT on these deals and promotions before time runs out at 11:59 pm.

Precision Reloading — 15% Off All Orders Over $75.00

Precision Reloading Cybermonday 15% Off

Precision Reloading is running a compelling Cyber Monday promotion through 11/27/2017 at 11:59 PM. Here’s the deal — you can save 15% off all orders of $75.00 or more. That means effectively that everything Precision Reloading sells is 15% off (as long as you spend at least $75.00). Yes that includes powder, bullets, dies, reloading tools and more. Get your 15% savings by using CODE “Black15″ during check-out.

Cutting Edge Bullets

Monolithic cutting edge solid bullets ELR CNC latheturned

Monolithic cutting edge solid bullets ELR CNC latheturnedCutting Edge Bullets produces advanced monolithic bullets made on computer-controlled lathes. Ultra-uniform, these High-BC solid projectiles are used by some of the world’s top Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooters. Cutting Edge also produces hunting bullets. Right now you can get 30% Off the entire line of Cutting Edge Match and Hunting bullets, through 11:59 pm on 11/27/2017. As part of this promotion, you will also get FREE Shipping. Since lathe-turned bullets are pricey, this is a great opportunity to try some at a significant discount.

SilencerCO — 20% Off All Products in Store

silencerco suppressor silencer

SilencerCo has knocked 20% off the price of everything it sells in its online store. This includes barrels, accessories, muzzle brakes, suppressor covers, clothing, other gear. But, this does not appear to apply to the cost of suppressors themselves.

SIG Sauer — 25% Off Products in SIG Online Store

SIG Sauer Electro optics magazines airguns

This is a very impressive promotion — you can save 25% on a wide variety of SIG Sauer products (other than firearms). NOTE: This 25% discount applies to the products SIG sells online in its store: ammunition, accessories, magazines, parts, and airguns. This promotion does NOT include pistols and rifles. Also the savings for Electro-optics, such as Laser RangeFinders, is 15% not 25%

Creedmoor Sports — Cyber Monday Sale

creedmoor sports cybermonday sale

For Cyber Monday, Creedmoor Sports has slashed prices on dozens of items. High-tech chronographs are on sale: Labradar $499.95 ($60.00 off); MagnetoSpeed V3, Cyber Monday Price $339.95 ($60.00 off). You can also save on Shooting Coats, Slings, Shooting Mats, Gun cases, and Ammunition. Get Free Shipping with orders over $49.00. Creedmoor Sports is also giving away products: Free shirt with orders over $200, a Free ammo bag with orders over $100, and a Free ECI with orders over $50.00.

Brownells — Aguila Ammunition Discounted 11% or More

Monolithic cutting edge solid bullets ELR CNC latheturned

Brownells has concluded its Black Rifle Friday promotion, but for Cyber Monday, Brownells is offering at least 11% off its full inventory of Aguila centerfire and rimfire ammo. You’ll find some other big discounts. For example, Aguila 9x19mm FMJ is marked down from $13.99 to $9.99 for a 50-round box — that’s a 28% savings.

XLR Industries — Up to $150 Off Chassis Systems

Monolithic cutting edge solid bullets ELR CNC latheturned

XLR Industries, manufacturer of modular chassis systems, is offering super savings on Cyber Monday. There are big cash-value discounts on everything XLR sells. Here’s how it works — if you spend $595 or more and save $150.00 with checkout code BF150. Or, if you spend $200 or more you save $40 with code BF40. With this promotion you can get the Evolution Chassis, normally $750.00, for just $600.00. That’s a huge savings.

GunBuyer.com — Deep Discounts on Handguns and Black Rifles

GunBuyer.com smith wesson Springfield Walther

If you’re in the market for a handgun or an AR-platform rifle check out GunBuyer.com. We’ve seen some exceptional bargains on major-manufacturer pistols. Here are some of the best Cyber Monday Deals on handguns:

  • Springfield Armory XD 45 ACP, 5″ bbl, $329.00
  • Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm, 3″ bbl, $289.00
  • Smith & Wesson Model 642 Revolver, 1.87″ bbl, $339.00
  • Walther PPS M2 9mm, 3.18″ bbl, $309.00

5.11 Tactical — 25% OFF All Gear and Apparel

5.11 Tactical 25% Off gear

5.11 Tactical is running a HUGE sale on Cyber-Monday. Pretty much everything is marked down 25%. Save on well-designed, long-wearing pants, shirts, outerwear, gloves, and boots. Also save big on packs, gun cases, and range bags. 5.11 Tactical also offers watches, knives, eyewear, phone cases, and other accessories.

Sportsman’s Guide — Outdoor Gear at Big Savings

Sportsman's Guide 2017 Cyber Monday Hunting gear

Hunters should visit SportsmansGuide.com this Cyber Monday. Dozens of items are discounted heavily, including outdoor apparel for hunters: Camo jackets, parkas, boots, hats, gillie suits, and more. In addition, tree stands and blinds are marked down on 11/27/2017.

Cutting Edge Bullets, SilencerCo, XLR tips from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submission.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
November 24th, 2017

New Hot-Rod .224 Valkyrie Cartridge from Federal

Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

Seems like new cartridges are being introduced every few months, particularly for the AR15 platform. This past January, Nosler gave us the .22 Nosler, a potent cartridge with better ballistics than the “plain vanilla” .223 Remington. American Rifleman reported: “Nosler is claiming its new [.22 Nosler] cartridge … can get 300 FPS and 25% more energy out of the AR platform” compared to the .223 Rem.

New .224 Valkyrie from Federal
Now Federal has introduced a .22-Caliber Hot Rod cartridge — the .224 Valkyrie. Designed to rival the .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the new .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with modern, high-BC bullets.

Federal claims its .224 Valkyrie ammo loaded with the Sierra 90 MatchKing stays supersonic all the way out to 1300 yards. Watch the video above for details. Design-wise, the .224 Valkyrie has a medium-length neck, 30° shoulder. Unofficially, we are told this new cartridge is “based on on the .30 Remington/6.8 SPC case, necked down to .22 caliber”. (Source: TheFireArmBlog). It’s similar in appearance to a 6.5 Grendel necked to .22-Caliber, but the body is longer. Case capacity has been measured at 34.5 grs H2O, about 1.3 grains less than the .22 Nosler.

Federal currently offers four types of .224 Valkyrie Ammunition: 75gr TMJ “American Eagle”, 60gr Nosler Ballistic Tip “Varmint”, 90gr SP “Fusion MSR”, and 90gr HP SMK “Premium”.

Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

COMMENTARY — Do We Need Another .22-Caliber Cartridge?
Is the .224 Valkyrie really needed? Bolt-gunners can just shoot a 22-250 (or a 22 Dasher if you want a more efficient cartridge). But for guys who want a hot-performing .22-Caliber round that feeds and functions 100% in AR-Platform rifles, this .22 Valkyrie may make sense. Just as the .22 Nosler has found favor with some shooters, there may be a market for the .224 Valkyrie — both among varmint hunters and PRS Gas Gun Series competitors.

Conceivably some bolt-action PRS shooters might adopt the .224 Valkyrie. Why? Reduced recoil. With the 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie offers ballistics similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor but with significantly less felt recoil. Check out this a chart from Federal showing comparative recoil levels (highlights added).

Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

Even with the heavy-for-caliber 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie delivers significantly less felt recoil than a 6.5 Creedmoor shooting 130gr or 140gr bullets. You get a similar trajectory and good wind-bucking ability, with less push. The reduced recoil CAN make a difference, particularly during rapid-fire strings. Since PRS is shot “on the clock”, less recoil could provide a competitive advantage.

Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

Cheaper to Shoot? Maybe, But Consider Barrel Life…
Cost considerations might also drive some PRS shooters to the .224 Valkyrie. Quality .22-Cal bullets definitely cost less than match-grade 6.5 mm projectiles. Therefore, high-volume shooters may find the .224 Valkyrie more affordable to shoot. On the other hand, barrel life for the .224 Valkyrie will likely be shorter than with the 6.5 Creedmoor, so you may end up paying more in the long run. What you save on the cost of bullets you may have to invest in new barrels.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical 20 Comments »
November 21st, 2017

With Increased Production, Rimfire Ammo Prices Drop

Rimfire Ammo prices ammunition .22 LR supply CCI Lewiston
Image by Dean Weingarten, GunWatch Blog.

It’s the “good old days” again for rimfire ammo buyers. A new 37,000-square-foot CCI rimfire production facility is running in Lewiston, Idaho. And demand has dropped. That all translates to greater .22 LR ammunition availability, and much lower prices. You can now find “big name” American-made .22 LR at $2.20/box levels — that’s just 4.4 cents per round. See AMMO PRICES HERE.

Dean Weingarten explains: “The new .22 rimfire plant in Lewiston, Idaho, is online. Vista Outdoor, which owns the CCI and Federal brands, has increased rimfire production for both brands by 20 percent (20%). And demand is dropping. With end of the Obama administration, the .22 ammunition bubble is deflating. Most stores have ammunition available. Prices are coming down.”

From the Lewiston Tribune, November 10th, 2017:

Vista Outdoor recently debuted a new, 37,000-square-foot, $35 million rimfire ammunition plant near the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport, which has resulted in what company officials describe as a “very satisfying” reduction in the time needed to complete an order.

Vista Outdoor has reduced ammunition prices to maintain market share as its customers work through stockpiles they amassed under the administration of Barack Obama — when they feared new regulation that never came to pass: “We’re the market leader in rimfire. Brand preference in ammunition tends to be somewhat sticky. It took us a long time to gain our market share. … We are loathe to cede that during a period of challenging pricing because it’s going to be very difficult to get that back.”

The Ammo Supply and Demand Cycle

Commentary by Dean Weingarten, GunWatch Blog
The ammunition manufacturers, such as Vista Outdoors, do not want to lower prices. As with any manufacturer, life is easy and smooth when both prices and demand are high. But the market does not guarantee that prices and demand will remain high. Only force, in the form of government granted monopolies, or collusion, as with the OPEC cartel, can do that. Neither of those things exist in the United States, where a mostly free market in ammunition is enforced.

The CCI and Federal brands have an enviable reputation for reliability and quality. They have customer loyalty because of that. [But there is pressure from the competition…]

.22 LR 22LR rimfire ammunition ammo best price

Aguila Nearly Doubled Production, Resulting in Lower Prices
Market competition works. Aguila of Mexico saw opportunity and increased its production before Vista Outdoors did. Aguila almost doubled its production to capture some of the increasing American market. That is reflected in the availability and price structure seen today. Aguila’s brands are at the lowest price point in the market. Vista has to reduce prices to keep market share. Federal low price brands are in direct competition with Aguila. The lowest prices are now at 3.7 – 4 cents per round.

Prices are going to continue to fall. If you look at the prices on the old Remington box, it was purchased on sale at less than two cents per round. I will not be surprised if we see prices at or below two cents per round, at sporadic sales, before the end of President Trump’s term.

Shopping TIP: For Rock-Bottom Prices Check Estate Sales
For those looking for even lower prices, look for estate sales. Prices of ammunition at estate sales are going to be in the basement. Because of liability, gun stores will not buy ammunition back from private owners. Many people who inherit ammunition are afraid of it, know nothing about guns, and want to get rid of it. I have heard of thousands of dollars of ammunition being turned in to police to be destroyed.

See Rimfire Ammo Production at CCI Factory

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 6 Comments »
November 20th, 2017

Bargain Finder 113: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. MidwayUSA — Black Friday SALE Begins Monday 11/20/2017

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week MidwayUSA Black Friday Sale

MidwayUSA is kicking off its Black Friday Sale early. Midway says this is “our biggest sale of the year!”. We can confirm there are dozens of great bargains on quality products. There is also a Sweepstakes with over $1800.00 worth of gear. Hundreds of items are on sale. Here are some of the best MidwayUSA deals we spotted today:

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week MidwayUSA Black Friday Sale

2. EuroOptic.com — Vortex 13% Off & Gift Cards up to $250.00

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week EuroOptic.com Vortex Optics VTX13 Gift Card Black Friday Sale

EuroOptic.com is running a Super Sale on Vortex Optics. Now through December 1st, use promo code VTX13 to receive 13% off ALL Vortex Optics products at EuroOptic.com. Here’s the real incentive — qualifying Razor HD Gen II, Golden Eagle HD, PST, and HST Vortex riflescope purchase will earn you a EuroOptic Gift Card worth up to $250.00. Call today at 570-368-3920, for gift card details. Here are the models qualifying for Gift Card Specials:

Vortex Razor HD Gen II 3-18X and 4.5-27X — $250 Gift Card
Vortex Razor HD Gen II 1-6X and Golden Eagle HD — $100 Gift Card
Vortex Viper PST and Viper HST — $50 Gift Card

3. Whittaker Guns — Howa Lightning 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $329.99

With this deal you can get a complete 6.5 Creedmoor Howa 1500 Rifle with HACT 2-Stage Trigger for just $329.99. That’s $88.00 less than the price of a Howa 1500 barreled action by itself! ($418.00 at Brownells). This is a no-frills rifle, but its hard to beat the $329.99 price for a solid, multi-purpose rifle. Use “As-Is” for hunting or drop it into a modular stock for tactical/practical games.

4. Cabela’s — Nikon Laser RangeFinder Binoculars $200 Off

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week cabela's cabelas.com nikon laser rangefinder LRF binoculars

As part of its week-long Black Friday promotion, Cabela’s is offering big discounts on Nikon optics. One truly outstanding deal is the 10x42mm Nikon LaserForce rangefinder binoculars — the price has been slashed $200 from $1199.99 down to $999.99. Yes these highly-rated LRF binocs do sell elsewhere for around $1200. These Nikons offer performance rivaling expensive European rangefinding binoculars (Leica, Swarovski) for hundreds less. Clarity is excellent. Ranging ability is very good. Note: This $999.99 price is good for one week starting Wednesday, 11/22/2017. You have to wait until 11/22 to get the $999.99 price.

READ Field Test of Nikon LaserForce 10×42: “This is a truly remarkable hunting optic, especially when price is taken into consideration ($1199.95 MSRP). With a powerful, full-featured laser rangefinder married to an excellent quality binocular… LaserForce performance is on par with comparable units costing 2-3 times more.” — Tony Martins

5. Dick’s Sporting Goods — Black Friday Gun Safe Sale

Black Friday Gun Safe Deal Dicks sporting goods

Need a Gun Safe? Head down to Dick’s Sporting Goods on Black Friday (11/24/2017). The giant, 64-gun Stack-On Sentinel vault will be marked down from $1499.99 to $699.98, a $800 savings, and a killer deal on a BIG vault! A medium-sized 24-gun safe will sell for just $399.98 — $300 off the regular price. NOTE, if you cannot wait until Black Friday, you can still save with pre-Black Friday sale pricing right now. You’ll pay more than on Black Friday, but there are still some significant savings. For example, right now you can get the Field & Stream Pro 36-gun safe for $699.98, marked down from $899.99. NOTE: The illustrated Sale prices are for BLACK FRIDAY ONLY, 11/24/17.

6. Cabelas.com — Sig Kilo 2200 RangeFinder $349.99

Sig Sauer Kilo 200 Laser Rangefinder LRF Black Friday Cabelas

This Sig Sauer Kilo 2200 is a very good laser rangefinder that performs as well as some other brands costing nearly twice as much. You’ll get performance on par with a Zeiss Victory or Leica CRF for hundreds less. User reports on the Sig Kilo LRF have been very positive. The $349.99 Sale Price is a great deal.

7. Midsouth — Hornady Auto Charge Dispenser, $148.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

As a pre-Black Friday promotion, Midsouth Shooters Supply is discounting the Hornady Auto Charge electronic Scale/Dispenser down to $148.99. The Auto Charge is accurate to 0.1 grains of powder and can hold up to 1000 grains of powder in its hopper. As a bonus, if you purchase this Auto Charge this week, Midsouth will provide FREE Shipping on your entire order — including any other items you might buy (HazMat charges extra).

8. Amazon — MTM AC4C Ammo Crate with 4 Ammo Boxes

MTM Ammo Carrier Crate Box

Here’s a very cool product from MTM at a great price. The versatile MTM AC4C Ammo Carrier features four, lockable polymer ammo cans in a fitted, four-slot 23.5” x 11.3” x 7.5” carry crate. This makes it easy to haul four full ammo cans. Actual purchasers have raved: “Moments after I received this storage box set I ordered another. Very well built and great design. Awesome and a steal at the price.” Right now this is on sale at Amazon for just $29.99 with free prime shipping. The system includes four lockable, O-Ring 11.3″ x 7.2″ x 5″ ammo cans (AC30T) for multi-caliber ammo storage. The crate even includes tie-down points for transport in a cart or ATV. NOTE: Earlier this summer this MTM AC4C system sold for $39.99. The current $29.99 price represents a 25% savings! See price chart below.

9. Brownells — Federal .45 ACP 1000 Rounds $224.50 with Rebate

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Rebate Federal American Eagle .45 ACP

We love to shoot .45 ACP, but it is expensive to reload compared to smaller calibers. Here’s a great deal for .45 ACP fans. Brownells is selling 1000 rounds of brass-cased Federal American Eagle .45 ACP for $299.80, or just $224.85 after manufacturer’s rebate. NOTE: This Federal 25% Off Rebate applies to other American Eagle brass-cased pistol ammo carried by Brownells including: 25 ACP, 32 ACP, .380 ACP, .38 SPL, .357 Magnum, 9mm Luger, and .40 S&W. American Eagle ammo is reliable and the brass is reloadable. SEE All Rebate-Eligible Ammo.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 3 Comments »
November 20th, 2017

Glen Zediker Offers Smart Advice on Priming

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool
The anvil is the tripod-shaped thin metal piece protruding above the bottom of the primer cup. Getting the primer sitting fully flush on the bottom of the case primer pocket, without crunching it too much, requires some keen feel for the progress of primer seating.

top grade ammo book Glen ZedikerIn two recent Midsouth Blog articles, Glen Zediker offers helpful advice on priming. First he examines what happens to the primer itself as it is seated in the cup. Glen explains why some “crush” is important, and why you never want to leave a high primer. Glen also reviews a variety of priming tools, including his favorite — the Forster Co-Ax Bench Primer Seater. Then he offers some key safety tips. Glen provides some “rock-solid” advice about the priming operation. You’ll find more great reloading tips in Glen’s newest book, Top-Grade Ammo, which we recommend.

Priming Precision vs. Speed
Glen writes: “The better priming tools have less leverage. That is so we can feel the progress of that relatively very small span of depth between start and finish. There is also a balance between precision and speed in tool choices, as there so often is.”

Benchtop Priming Tools — The Forster Co-Ax
Glen thinks that the best choice among priming options, considering both “feel” and productivity, may be the benchtop stand-alone priming stations: “They are faster than hand tools, and can be had with more or less leverage engineered into them. I like the one shown below the best because its feeding is reliable and its feel is more than good enough to do a ‘perfect’ primer seat. It’s the best balance I’ve found between speed and precision.”

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool

Load Tuning and Primers
Glen cautions that you should always reduce your load when you switch to a new, not-yet-tested primer type: “The primer is, in my experience, the greatest variable that can change the performance of a load combination, which is mostly to say ‘pressure’. Never (never ever) switch primer brands without backing off the propellant charge and proving to yourself how far to take it back up, or to even back it off more. I back off one full grain of propellant [when I] try a different primer brand.”

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool

Priming Safety Tips by Zediker

1. Get a good primer “flip” tray for use in filling the feeding magazine tubes associated with some systems. Make double-damn sure each primer is fed right side up (or down, depending on your perspective). A common cause of unintentional detonation is attempting to overfill a stuffed feeding tube magazine, so count and watch your progress.

2. Don’t attempt to seat a high primer more deeply on a finished round. The pressure needed to overcome the inertia to re-initiate movement may be enough to detonate it.

3. Don’t punch out a live primer! That can result in an impressive fright. To kill a primer, squirt or spray a little light oil into its open end. That renders the compound inert.

4. Keep the priming tool cup clean. That’s the little piece that the primer sits down into. Any little shard of brass can become a firing pin! It’s happened!

These Tips on Priming come from Glen’s newest book, Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth Shooters Supply. CLICK HERE to learn more about this and other publications from Zediker Publishing.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
November 17th, 2017

6.5 Grendel Reloading Data From Sierra Bullets

6.5 Grendel load data Sierra Bullets

CLICK HERE for Sierra Bullets 6.5 Grendel LOAD DATA PDF »

Sierra Bullets has just released load data for the 6.5 Grendel, a popular cartridge that works equally well in bolt guns and AR15-platform gas guns. Sierra published comprehensive 6.5 Grendel load data, covering 19 powders and eight (8) different bullets from 85 to 130 grains. NOTE: Hornady-brand brass (see below) was used for Sierra’s 6.5 Grendel tests, not the stronger Lapua 6.5 Grendel brass. Hand-loaders using Lapua 6.5 Grendel brass may need to adjust their loads. Also Winchester WSR primers were used. We imagine most precision hand-loaders will prefer CCI or Federal primers.

Sierra Bullets Tested for 6.5 Grendel Load Data
85gr HP (#1700)
100gr HP (#1710)
107gr HPBT (#1715)
120gr Spitzer (#1720)
120gr HPBT (#1725)
123gr HPBT (#1727)
130gr HPBT (#1728)
130gr TMK (# 7430)

In developing its 6.5 Grendel load data, Sierra tested a very wide selection of propellants, 19 in all. For the 85gr to 100gr varmint bullets, modern powders such as XMR 2230, Power Pro Varmint, and Ramshot TAC offered the best velocity in the 24″ test barrel. For the heavier 120gr to 130gr match bullets, Sierra tested a selection of powders. Highest velocities came with Power Pro Varmint and TAC. If you’re looking for best accuracy, consider the slower burn-rate powders such as IMR 8208 XBR and Varget — but you’ll sacrifice some speed. Overall, Sierra’s latest 6.5 Grendel load data is an excellent addition to the 6.5 Grendel knowledge base. Thanks Sierra!

Here are Sierra’s 6.5 Grendel Load Data Charts for Sierra’s 123gr HPBT, 130gr HPBT, and 130gr TMK. There are a five other tables for lighter-weight Sierra bullets.

6.5 Grendel load data Sierra Bullets

6.5 Grendel load data Sierra Bullets

6.5 Grendel load data Sierra Bullets

History of the 6.5 Grendel Cartridge
The 6.5 Grendel originated as a 6mm PPC necked up to 6.5 mm. After Alexander Arms relinquished the “6.5 Grendel” Trademark, the 6.5 Grendel was standardized as an official SAAMI cartridge. It has become popular with target shooters and hunters alike because it is accurate, efficient, and offers modest recoil. Good for small to medium game, the 6.5 Grendel is becoming a popular chambering in lightweight hunting rifles, such as the Howa 1500 Youth Model. It is one of the most accurate cartridges you can shoot in the AR-15 platform.

6.5 Grendel Saami Hornady Brass

CLICK HERE for 6.5 Grendel Cartridge History (Wikipedia entry).

Sierra Bullets Load Data 6mm Creedmoor reloading tips

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
November 16th, 2017

Incipient Case-Head Separation — How to Detect the Problem

cartridge case separation

We are re-publishing this article at the request of Forum members who found the information very valuable. If you haven’t read this Safety Tip before, take a moment to learn how you can inspect your fired brass to determine if there may be a potential for case separation. A case separation can be dangerous, potentially causing serious injury.

cartridge case separationOn the respected Riflemans’ Journal blog there was an excellent article about Cartridge Case-Head Separation. In this important article, Journal Editor GS Arizona examined the causes of this serious problem and explained the ways you can inspect your brass to minimize the risk of a case-head separation. As cases get fired multiple times and then resized during reloading, the cases can stretch. Typically, there is a point in the lower section of the case where the case-walls thin out. This is your “danger zone” and you need to watch for tell-tale signs of weakening.

The photo below shows a case sectioned so that you can see where the case wall becomes thinner near the web. You can see a little arrow into the soot inside the case pointing to the thinned area. This case hadn’t split yet, but it most likely would do so after one or two more firings.

cartridge case separation

Paper Clip Hack for Detecting Problems
The article provided a great, easy tip for detecting potential problems. You can use a bent paper clip to detect potential case wall problems. Slide the paper clip inside your case to check for thin spots. GS Arizona explains: “This simple little tool (bent paper clip) will let you check the inside of cases before you reload them. The thin spot will be immediately apparent as you run the clip up the inside of the case. If you’re seeing a shiny line on the outside and the clip is really hitting a thin spot inside, it’s time to retire the case. If you do this every time you reload, on at least 15% of your cases, you’ll develop a good feel for what the thin spot feels like and how it gets worse as the case is reloaded more times. And if you’re loading the night before a match and feel pressured for time — don’t skip this step!”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
November 16th, 2017

Ammo Reference Book Covers 200+ Cartridge Types

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

If you ever shoot factory ammo, you should consider getting Ammo & Ballistics 6. This resource book lists over 2,600 different loads for 200+ cartridge types from 17 Mach 2 up to .700 Nitro Express, including the most popular centerfire and rimfire cartridges (both rifle and handgun). In this updated-for-2017 Sixth Edition, there are over 3,000 tables covering virtually every caliber and every load for all commercially-loaded hunting ammunition sold in the USA. Tables include velocity, energy, wind drift, bullet drop, and ballistic coefficients up to 1,000 yards.

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

Ammo & Ballistics 6 helps you select ammo for a hunt — quickly compare the velocity and knock-down power of various commercial ammo. This book can help you choose a caliber/chambering for your next hunting rig.

Verified Book Purchaser Reviews
“Outstanding reference guide for shooters and ballistic enthusiasts alike. Has data on velocity, energy delivered, Taylor KO index, windage and elevation on numerous loadings for hundreds of calibers, with all this being preceded by a few pages on the science of ballistics and a few anecdotes. Good reads. Each cartridge has all dimensions labeled (i.e rim, case length, neck, etc.), and has an informative description of the cartridges history/relevance.” — S. Step, 2017

“Great heaps of data! This volume has pages and pages of new data for .22LR like the hot Velocitor, and also on the .22 WMR from 30 grains up into the 50s. Most importantly there is lots of range data, drop, windage, kinetic energy, etc. — Terrific reference guide….” — E. Svanoe

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
November 14th, 2017

6mm Creedmoor Reloading Data From Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

CLICK HERE for Sierra Bullets 6mm Creedmoor LOAD DATA PDF »

Sierra Bullets has recently released load data for the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge, a necked-down version of the 6.5 Creedmoor, a popular PRS, tactical, and hunting cartridge. Sierra has released very comprehensive 6mm Creedmoor load data, covering fifteen (15) different bullets from 55 to 110 grains. NOTE: Hornady-brand brass was used for Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor load tests, not the newer, stronger Lapua 6.5 CM brass with small primer pockets. Hand-loaders using Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass necked to 6mm may have to adjust their loads.

Sierra writes: “As soon as the 6.5 Creedmoor was released in 2007, a 6mm version was being envisioned. After the 6mm Creedmoor demonstrated its worth at 1000 yards it began to catch the attention of Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitors. The 6mm/6.5 Creedmoor is a great fit for those looking for an AR platform-friendly cartridge. It delivers velocities very similar to the .243 Win and yet fits the AR10 magazine length[.] The 30-degree shoulder makes this a very efficient case and helps prolong case life as well. The 6mm/6.5 Creedmoor works well with powders such as H4350, RE-17, and Ramshot Hunter for heavier long-range bullet weights. Slightly faster powders such as RE-15, Win 760, and Vihtavuori N540 work well with lighter weight bullets.”

Sierra Bullets Tested for 6mm Creedmoor Load Data
55gr BlitzKing (#1502)
60gr HP (#1500)
70gr HPBT (#1505)
70gr BlitzKing (#1507)
75gr HP (#1510)
80gr SBT (#1515)
85gr Spitzer (#1520)
85gr HPBT (#1530)
90gr FMJBT (#1535)
95gr HPBT (#1537)
95gr TMK (#7295)
100gr Spitzer (#1540)
100gr SBT (#1560)
107gr HPBT (#1570)
110gr HPBT (#1575)

In developing its 6mm Creedmoor load data, Sierra tested a very wide selection of propellants, two dozen overall. For the smaller bullets, fast-burning powders such as Benchmark, H4895, and CFE223 were tested. For the heavier 100+ grain bullets, Sierra tested a selection of medium-burn-rate powders including H4350, Reloder 16, Reloder 17, Varget, and Superformance. Sierra did a very thorough job. We know this information will be welcomed by 6mm Creedmoor shooters.

Don’t know what powder to try first? For the 107-110 grain bullets, if you want best accuracy and low ES/SD, our Forum members recommend Alliant Reloder 16 and Hodgdon H4350. If you are seeking max velocity with the 110-grainer, look at Hodgdon Superformance and Reloder 19.

Here are Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor Load Data Charts for the 107gr MK and 110gr MK. There are a half-dozen other tables for lighter-weight bullets.

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

Sierra Bullets Load Data 6mm Creedmoor reloading tips

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tactical No Comments »